In the next few articles, I’m going to be exploring this question in a lot of detail but before we can enter a discussion about freedom, we need to define what we are talking about.
People have various notions of freedom and often define it based based on their individual needs and concerns. The many ways people define freedom could be financial, emotional, intellectual, location and time freedom to name a few. Although these are all aspects of freedom they do not capture the true essence of what this word means so let me attempt to define it here.
Freedom is the ability to live in this world as a sovereign being in whatever capacity you want your life to unfold without intruding on the rights of others. You notice that my definition is not static but dynamic because freedom is not a destination it is a process. What do I mean by this?
If you look at the world today, it is designed to take our freedom away. Let’s scrutinize this in ore detail. From the time we are born into this planet we are thrust into a world of external influences that true to condition us and distract us from what truly matters. This is because every entity that exists in this world has its own agenda, which is hardly ever in harmony with our personal agenda.
The first influence that a baby has are the healthcare system and it has an incredible influence on how that baby is brought into the world. Far too many women turn to cesarian section as a way to birth their children, under the influence of their obstetricians when we know that far too many of these are performed than are necessary. The baby needs to pass through the birth canal in order to get the inoculation of the mother’s microbiome in order to develop a healthy immune system. Cesarian born babies are at a significant disadvantage when it comes to their immunity.
The second influence that a baby has are its parents and we like to believe that most parents have their children’s best interests in mind. This is far from the truth. I am not knocking the billions of parents that are out there trying to raise their children but what I am saying its that most parents are iil equipped to raise their children effectively. I know for a fact that when I had my children, I knew nothing about effective parenting and, although I have remedied this since, my children suffered for my lack of knowledge.
You see, we are thrust into parenthood with no knowledge of how to raise children. Indigenous societies solved this problem but creating cohesive communities in which newborn babies were, not only raised by the parents, but by the community and especially the indigenous elders, who had he knowledge and wisdom that children need to learn how to thrive in this world. We have largely lost this in our modern world, which we call advanced. We may have advanced technologically with many conveniences that our indigenous ancestors did not have but we have gone backwards and are so far behind in how we raise our children.
The third influence that the child has is, unfortunately, mass marketing and popular culture, which it gets introduced to through the many technological means available to us. This includes television, laptops, tablet devices, smartphones, video games and the marketing and advertising that surrounds us at all times when we leave our homes. The vast majority of mass marketing and popular culture is trying to serve its own agenda of selling something or getting more fans with no care or concern for the passive observer it is influencing.
We are told from a young age that we need to look, dress and act a certain way in order to be accepted and even loved by others. This is the goal of marketing and advertising with the sole purpose of selling us its products. Popular culture in its various forms, whether it be movies, shows of streaming services, video games, music and professional sports, and many others, are always seeking to get the viewer hooked to create a fan base which generates more revenue for that specific form of popular culture.
The fourth influence that the child has is the education system, which is largely outdated and dysfunctional. Our current education system was created post World War 2 with the sole purpose of creating workers who could man factories to produce the consumer goods that fuel our capitalistic society and this has not changed in the decades that followed. Children are taught essential skills of reading, writing and math but they are taught little else. When they are taught history and politics they are fed someone’s interpretation of historical events and someone’s view of how people should be governed but they are never taught the truth of what really happened and how things truly are.
An example of this is residential schools in Canada. For decades, indigenous children were taken from their families and put in residential schools, which were run by the Catholic Church and supported by the federal government. These schools were not designed to teach these children but to indoctrinate them into a way of thinking that destroys any vestige of their own culture and makes them slaves to the new world order, which was introduced to North America by European settlers. These children were abused, tortured and murdered to achieve this aim, a reality which has been hidden and ignored until recently. In fact, the only reason the Canadian government is now seeking so-called truth and reconciliation is that it is being demanded by indigenous communities in Canada and around the world. There is no sincerity in the government’s desire for truth and reconciliation and it is only being done to give the appearance of remorse for what they have done.
In addition, the education does not teach anything that truly matters to the developing child. This includes how to stay healthy and avoid illness, emotional regulation, how to navigate one’s inner landscape, the importance of connecting with nature, personal finance, how to become an entrepreneur, how to relate to others, leadership skills and many other skills too numerous to mention here.
You can now see the many ways in which our freedom is taken away from us the moment we are born into this world and this continues throughout our lives as we become adolescents, young adults, establish careers, relationships and families. The question then becomes, if we are doomed from the beginning, how can we possibly reclaim our freedom?
I will begin to unpack this question in my next article. In the meantime, look at your life as it is today and try to identify the many ways in which your freedom is being usurped.
Dr. Nauman Naeem